I hate notebooks

The LG R500 notebook I bought last year started crashing recently. It seems that it's overheating. It happened more while playing a game or watching a video. I blame the video card.

My usual approach with a PC would be to take the video card out and replace it with another one, but with a notebook that's out of warranty your options are severely limited. So I decided to go another route and try to fix the cooling.

The first thing I did was take out every external screw so that I could get the notebook apart. Then I had to pry the outer shell open. Turns out I didn't need to do all that; the video card is directly under the keyboard and could be accessed by removing 3 screws. Sigh.

In any case, after taking the video card off I cleaned off the thermal paste and put the video card back. It doesn't have a fan; instead the video card and CPU are both attached to a huge heatsink that is cooled by a fan in the corner. I cleaned the fan too but it wasn't very dirty.

After replacing the thermal paste I found that the notebook was more reliable, though not fully perfect. But this emboldened me to buy a notebook cooler. For those of you who don't know, a notebook cooler is a ridiculous device that you put under the notebook, which provides additional cooling by blowing air onto the underside of the notebook. Think of the sidewalk grate blowing up Marylin Monroe's skirt, only instead of a skirt it's a notebook computer that's overheated.

Now the notebook works much better when playing games, but I'm annoyed that the notebook didn't work properly without these workarounds. Taking apart a notebook is not easy; even in this case where there was an easy way to get to the video card, it still cost me to learn this: One of the screws holding the two halves of the case together broke, and I stripped a screwdriver taking out all those screws. At least I basically know what I'm doing here. Someone who doesn't know what they're doing could find that they took it apart, put it back together, and it doesn't work at all anymore. The reason: thermal paste has to be re-applied when you take the heatsink off the chip. Raise your hand if you have thermal paste at home. I thought so.

Then to top things off, I had to buy a frickin' external cooling system for this. When was the last time you bought something and found that it didn't work at all without an external device to compensate for its shortcomings? It's like buying a phone, only finding out that you can't hear the person on the other end without an amplifier that you strap onto the handset. Or buying pants but finding out that you can't do up the zipper without a $100 velcro kit sold separately by a third party.

I should have had to buy a cooling system for this computer. It should cool itself.

Well, anyway, it works mow. I'm a little behind the leading edge of gameplay these days, but I've just discovered that the cake is a lie.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I just saw Harry Potter 6 yesterday. I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the movie. 4 and 5 were not great movies; the pacing was too fast and too much dialogue had been cut to make the movie fit the 2.5 hour format. With Harry Potter 6 they managed to redeem themselves and make the movie work.

There are a few notable plot changes in the movie; most crucially there was a battle inserted in the middle and one removed from somewhere else. Some minor details here and there were changed, sometimes in ways that seemed odd, and sometimes in ways that violate the canon of the story, but nothing truly important was tampered with. Most characters appear without introduction and if you didn't recognize them from the books or previous movies you won't be able to recognize them now either. But aside from that the movie progressed fairly well and in accordance with the original story.

This is perhaps the best instalment so far since the first movie, which was the most true to the book.

One thing that bothers me is that the Death Eaters seem to have the ability to fly. In the 7th book they point out that Voldemort can fly and everyone is surprised by that. Oh well, it's not an important detail.

One thing I found funny is that certain actors have aged A LOT since the first movie and others don't appear to. This makes Rupert Grint, who's 21, look really out of place in Hogwarts, where the incoming students are 11. And some of the teachers in the school have aged a lot and I worry that they won't be around to play their roles in book 7. Maybe the director will film the end of that book sooner, since the teachers play a bigger role at the end than at the beginning.

Anyway, overall I recommend this movie to all fans of the books or the movies. It won't really disappoint; as far as movie adaptations go it's one of the better ones.